Good morning and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up another busy week full of work, school and sports practices -- can you relate? All of the highlights from the past few days, along with our easy dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!
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For those of you who are new to the blog, Our Week in Meals is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our dinners each night. This series gives you a glimpse “behind the scenes” at some highlights from our life, shows you how I balance a busy schedule with feeding my family, and offers a few new ideas for your own weekly meal plan.
Now let’s back up to last weekend…
After snow the previous week, we were blessed with sunny, 65-degree weather on Sunday. Keith had to catch a flight that morning, so I squeezed in a sunrise walk with the dog and a trip to the grocery store before he left for the airport.
Casey joined me at the grocery store, but his "help" came with a price -- about twice as many groceries as I had on my list!😂 He threw so much into the cart -- from grapefruit and blackberries to Fritos, Swedish fish, and Lunchables (and more!). The hazards of taking kids to the store...
Please note Casey's new haircut. He told the hairdresser exactly what style he wanted, and says that it makes him look like a European soccer star.???? My third grader is now using hair gel!
Back home, Spencer helped me bake a cake for dessert that night, and the boys spent most of the rest of the afternoon outside.
They took advantage of the warm weather with basketball and tree forts!
My parents joined us for supper that night, so we picked up German food from The Bavarian Chef here in Madison. My dad's suggestion, and I was happy to get a night off from the kitchen! I made a salad to pair with our meal, which included Trout Almondine and all of the family-style German sides: red cabbage, green beans, carrots with apples and onions, cucumber salad, and dinner rolls.
Plus dessert -- a Watergate Cake (plus my mom's delicious brownies for the boys)! I'll share the details of this pistachio, coconut and pecan cake soon...
I spent Monday morning working in the kitchen and behind the computer screen, so not too much interesting to show you from those hours! While I was busy plugging away at my to-do list, I had one of my new candles burning (which is a great way to make the house feel cozy).
I recently ordered London Tea & Biscuits, Pink Fairy Gumdrop, Land of Sweets Blueberry Sugar, and Spiced Gingerbread from the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale (some great bargains in that sale!). My favorite is definitely the Spiced Gingerbread, which isn't too "Christmasy," but instead is just a really warm blend that makes your kitchen smell like you've been baking! The Tea & Biscuits and the Pink Fairy Gumdrop are also great, while the Blueberry Sugar is okay, but a little too fruity for my liking.
I met my friend Ashley for a walk after lunch, stopped at the bank for PTO business, and then came home to meet the boys off the bus and deal with the homework routine.
Dinner that night was a pan of my mother-in-law's Christmas Eve Lasagna. I didn't even have to make it -- she gave us an extra small pan of lasagna when we were visiting for the holidays, so it's been in my freezer waiting to be enjoyed. I paired the lasagna with salad and garlic bread for an easy weeknight meal.
We were out late for the boys' basketball practice that evening, but I did manage to finish another book. Cay Rademacher's Murderous Mistral is set in Provence, and it's the first book in the Investigator Blanc series. Relocated from Paris, Blanc is tasked with his first murder case in the South of France when a man with no friends and a lot of enemies is found shot and burned. When a second man dies under suspicious circumstances in the quaint French countryside, the Capitaine from Paris has to dig deep into the hidden, dark undersides of the Provence he never expected to see. If you enjoy mysteries, this was a good one!
Tuesday was a nasty, rainy day, so after meeting my friend at the gym in the morning, I came home to a mug of hot cocoa and stayed cozy with work indoors for most of the afternoon.
When I was picking up the scones and bread from my neighbor last week, she also gave me an extra bottle of oyster sauce that she found in her pantry. A strange "gift?" Maybe...but it provided the inspiration for our dinner on Tuesday evening! I made Healthy Chicken Chow Mein, and paired it with egg rolls that I cooked in the air fryer.
And since Keith was still traveling, all 3 boys joined me at my PTO meeting at the school later that night...
The kids LOVED this meal and all asked for seconds. Casey helped me prepare the dish, so I shared a video of him stir-frying over on Instagram Stories that evening. I often film myself making dinner in real time, so definitely follow along HERE if you're curious for more behind-the-scenes antics!
After a few really gray days, it was so nice to see the sun and blue skies again on Wednesday.
I met my friend for a walk after the boys went to school,
and then drove to Charlottesville for a lunch date with my parents at Burton's Grill.
French Onion Soup + House Salad
I kept dinner really easy since Keith wasn't home yet from his trip, so I had a bowl of Split Pea Soup (leftovers from the freezer), while the boys stuck with a can of chicken noodle. Plus grilled cheese sandwiches on the side!
Thursday included a gym class with a friend, recipe photography, and a walk in the afternoon with another friend.
This new yellow and white tulip wreath is now hanging on the front porch -- hoping for spring-like weather! I love the quality of the wreath (it feels well made and is very full), and they even have pink/red and pink/white versions if you're looking for festive Valentine's Day decor.
I also baked a loaf of our favorite Banana Bread that afternoon at Casey's request. He had a warm slice for snack as soon as he walked in the door after school (and it was an easy breakfast the next morning, too)!
We set up a make-your-own-pizza bar for dinner, which appealed to all of my boys (of course!). I bought a couple of balls of fresh pizza dough from the deli at the grocery store, and then just divided those into smaller portions to roll out into individual pizzas. Mine had red sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, mushrooms, onions and pepperoni, plus a salad on the side!
I met a friend at the gym early on Friday, and then spent the rest of the morning running errands in Culpeper. This was the new Almond Milk Honey Flat White from Starbucks, and I really liked it (creamy, not too strong, and not too sweet)!
I was already hungry when I finished my shopping at 11:00, so I stopped in Panera for lunch and takeout bagels before ultimately heading home.
Broccoli Cheese Soup + Roll
The boys had basketball practice that night, but beforehand we enjoyed my Dump-and-Bake Chicken Cacciatore for dinner. We paired the chicken and sauce with pasta, garlic bread, and a Caesar salad -- delicious, cozy and easy!
We had 3 basketball games and 1 practice on the schedule for Saturday, so I was expecting a full day in the gym. Unfortunately, everything was cancelled thanks to a bit of nasty winter weather (snowy/icy/freezing rain). It wasn't enough to really stick to the roads -- just enough to be a nuisance.
Suddenly we were looking at an entirely free weekend!
I spent the morning rearranging furniture and cleaning out drawers in one of the boys' rooms, and then picked up a grocery order shortly before lunch. Meanwhile, the kids kept themselves busy indoors with Keva planks, Lincoln logs and these old-school paratroopers.
Months ago, I bought some antique twin beds for one of the boys' rooms to replace the bunk beds that we had been using. My dad helped clean up the furniture and cut new slats for the frames, so my folks came to help set up the beds on Saturday afternoon. I'm still waiting on a new rug, duvet covers and the like, but it's so nice to have this room refreshed!
We were all a bit stir-crazy by dinnertime, so we made our way up to Culpeper and took the boys to their favorite restaurant -- Chili's -- for an early meal. Spencer's been asking for those chicken fingers for ages! Hah! 😃
Chips, salsa and salads to start...
...followed by sizzling Shrimp Fajitas. It was the perfect little outing for our crew, and we were back home in our pajamas in front of the fire by 7:00!😂
That brings us to today! I hope that you've found a few new ideas to add to your own meals in the week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!